Newcastle United have today completed the signing of England International winger Andros Townsend for a fee of £12m on a 5 and a half year deal. The lad will wear the nr 25 shirt.
Before the positives, let's look at a little look back at some history. A product of the Spurs Academy Andros has played for no less than 10 clubs, including parent club Tottenham, in a series of Loan spells. Whether this raises a concern over him being able to settle and impress a club, or whether this is a sign of how sought after a player of his talents can attract and how well Spurs have managed his development is a matter of opinion. There can be no doubt that he’s never quite made it at a club on the cusp of Champions League however.
It is also fair to say that leaving Spurs has also proved somewhat of a wrench for Townsend who has been there man and boy. His 'emotional' Tweet yesterday after leaving the Tottenham training ground for the last time a clear indication of his strong feelings toward the club.
But his footballing life now starts afresh. Andros spoke to Sky Sports yesterday about his, then, proposed move....
"As soon as I knew of Newcastle's interest, they were the only club I wanted to join. I can't wait to play my first game at St James' Park"
"Two of the best positions you can play in football are centre forward and left wing at Newcastle. I've got the chance. I could never turn that down. I'm excited"
So will Andros be a hit at NUFC and what have we bought for our £12m?
Most will immediately think of him flying up the wing at Spurs and perhaps his debut goal for England against Montenegro in a 4-1 win, but his career is one of the most interesting you'll find for the lad who was born in Leytonstone, London and who has actually been a Spurs player since his school days.
A couple of outstanding seasons at Spurs between 2013 and 2015 helped the lad force his way into the England setup. And for England he’s done all that can be asked of him with 9 caps and 3 goals.
This season has been tough for the England International however as Spurs have found form with a settled team without him. Just 9 games in all competitions and only three starts (none in the Premier League) will have proved very frustrating for Andros, although without so much as a squeak he's got on with playing for the U21's for several months now. A mark of his professionalism and loyalty to Spurs for sure.
Andros can play on both the left and the right, and whilst 2/3 of his appearances have been on the right side of midfield in his professional career he is comfortable on both. And with Sissoko continually being linked with a mega money transfer away from St James Park, despite quashing rumours himself saying 'they will not let me go', it is going to be very interesting to see if he is a replacement for the Frenchman or has been bought as foil for him on the other flank. We certainly hope the latter.
Both in terms of reputation and ability, compared to what we have in out and out wingers, Townsend is a good addition and will likely fit straight into the first team for the game against Everton on Wednesday next week. His stats aren’t great over his entire career though so we’ll be looking for a 14/15 return rather than 12/13 but hopefully that will come with a decent run in the side and a manager who puts faith in him.
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What this means for Thauvin who's really not been given a chance in the first team after his £14m summer move to Tyneside and for Aarons who's now back from injury only time will tell. We'd certainly like to see a fit Aaron's kept fully involved in the first team and given a chance to prove his fitness and skill. The Frenchman however may end up being shipped out on loan, like compatriot Cabella this window - hardly the best use of over £25m we'd say.
And whilst even I could make myself look decent on YouTube (well, maybe not) there are some cracking highlights of the boy to the right....
VERDICT: Better than what we have and would give some balance especially if played on the left, as his comments would seem to indicate yesterday, and if Sissoko plays right. Playing on the left however may take away from one of his biggest assets however as he loves to cut in on that left foot of his and get those strikes away. He’d certainly give us an option and his pace and quality should be enough to give us another dimension during games. He is also another example that we seem to have matured our transfer policy. That is two England Internationals in one window. Wonders never cease. The one only downside to this transfer seems to be he’s not the striker we desperately need - NEXT PLEASE!